Variety Reigns With Tonto Community Concert Association

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Rim residents looking to add some spice to their lives need look no further than the Tonto Community Concert Association's 2004-2005 season.

"This is going to be the best one we've had," said Marilyn Wolfe, president of the TCCA. "We have seven concerts for regular ticket holders and a bonus concert in May for our patrons. We're really excited about this coming year and it's fun to see it growing."

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The unique sounds of the Montana Mandolin Society will be among the seven concerts presented in the 2004-2005 season by the Tonto Community Concert Association.

TCCA has season tickets available for $60 per person.

"So far we have sold 704 season tickets, so we are ahead of last year," said Steve Solcz, publicity director for TCCA. The Payson High School auditorium, where the concerts are presented, seats about 992, Solcz said, so only about a quarter of the seating remains for the upcoming performances.

The regular season's performances are between September and April.

The concerts include: Franc D'Ambrosio's Broadway, Sept. 11; Vega String Quartet, Oct. 8; Gloria Loring, Nov. 16; Montana Mandolin Society, Jan. 13; One Enchanted Evening - Remembering Richard Rogers, Feb. 24; Alpin Hong, March 1; and The POSTman Delivers, starring Robert Post, April 24.

  • Franc D'Ambrosio has been playing the role of "The Phantom" in the San Francisco production for the past four years, after creating and playing the role in the national touring production. Movie fans may recognize him as Anthony Corleone, the opera-singing son, of Al Pacino in "Godfather III" -- he was cast in the role by the movie's director, Francis Ford Coppola and its producer, Fred Russ after both national and international searches.

He is a Grammy-nominated singer in the classical category, has been in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions and made many television appearances.

  • The Vega String Quartet is an award-winning group of performers that has attracted international attention since 1991. The quartet performed at Lincoln Center in August 2001 and has been featured in numerous festivals around the world.
  • Gloria Loring is one of the most versatile singers of her generation. Her career has spanned three decades of recordings, concert tours and appearances on stage, television and radio. She is also a songwriter, co-authoring the themes for the television programs "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Facts of Life".
  • The Montana Mandolin Society was organized in 1999 as the resurrected orchestra from 1902s Bozeman Mandolin Club. The group celebrates and preserves the mandolin music and traditions of its early-20th Century roots and makes an effort to educate students and the general public about interpreting music and enjoying acoustic instruments. In addition to mandolins, members of the group play the violin, guitar, banjo, cello-mandocello, mandola, bass and hammer dulcimer.
  • One Enchanted Evening - Remembering Richard Rogers is a Matt Davenport Production. The two-hour production, presented in two acts, showcases the "two-part" career of a man responsible for some of the most beautiful melodies ever composed.

The program is presented by a cast of 15, which includes eight singer-dancers and a five-piece orchestra.

  • Pianist Alpin Hong has won numerous awards for his talent. He has worked with orchestras throughout the world. He presents captivating interpretations of works by Schubert, Shostakovich and Schoenberg and others, thrilling audiences with his stunning virtuosity, artistic vision and irreverent style.
  • The POSTman Delivers, starring Robert Post is a collection of one-man performances created by Post. His repertoire includes a tribute to Sid Caesar called "A Rather Unfortunate Evening for Burglar Bart"; the life of a harried office worker, "Spiked"; a parody on classical ballet training, "Ballet 101"; an interpretation of the "Seven Ages of Man"; "Post Child" in which Post works with a puppet created by Jim Henson ( "Sesame Street") artist Matthew Brooks; a murder mystery spoof, "Beyond the Wall"; and a food show spoof, "Pasquale's Kitchen".

An eighth performance, a bonus for patrons and benefactors, will be presented May 7, "Mark Twain and the Laughing River" starring Jim Post. This performance, created and presented by Post, won the American Library Association Award in 1997.

Mark Twain sang tenor and played banjo, piano and guitar -- loving to show off at parties. Discovering this fact about the American literary icon gave Post the footing for his own unique interpretation of a musical Mark Twain. Post composed 12 songs based on the true-life stories of Twain's childhood and wove them into a unique musical presentation of dialogue and song.

"We try to pick programs we think Payson and Rim residents will enjoy, and (with the number of tickets already sold) it looks like we're successful," Solcz said. "We hope to beat last year's total."

For the 2003-2004 season, TCCA had 797 season tickets sold, Solcz said.

In addition to the standard season ticket for $60, the TCCA has a variety of contribution plans in which individuals and businesses can participate to lend their support to the efforts of the organization and enjoy the talented artists it brings to the Rim country.

Purchasing season tickets and making an additional gift up to $119 earns the donor the title of Booster.

A Patron contribution of $200 to $499 garners two tickets and an invitation to the bonus concert.

Businesses can make a contribution from $250 to $499 for advertising in the concert program, two tickets to the regular season, plus the bonus concert.

Benefactors are those who give $500 or more to the TCCA. They receive four season tickets and an invitation to the bonus concert. Businesses making a contribution at this level will receive the same benefits, plus advertising in all the concert programs.

The TCCA Board includes officers, Marilyn Wolfe, president, Eloise Jones, vice president, Sherry Smith, secretary, and Judy Smith, treasurer; members Duane Atteberry, Gladys Bosler, Marilyn Castleman, Judy Harman, Myra Herbster, Patricia Flood, Dee Felker, Charles Jones, Elva Jones, Mel Munchinsky, Barbara Potvin, Micky Solcz, Steve Solcz, Chris Spencer, Tom Spencer, Barbara Tejack, Geneveive Wojcik and Dick Wolfe.

Information about the TCCA, including contact numbers for tickets and the officers, can be found on its web site, www.t ccarim.org.

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